Contractors and truckers on the Blood Reserve south of Calgary, Alta. say they’re tired of seeing on-reserve contracts go to outside businesses.
“Enough is enough,” said Beth Day Chief, spokesperson for the Blood contractors and truckers. “We want our work back. We’re qualified and they should be using the contractors from the reserve.”
Roughly a dozen trucks and heavy machinery that belong to local businesses were parked in the community to protest Blood Tribe chief and council and Lethbridge based company Talbera Technologoies.
Day Chief said Talbera has been given major Blood Tribe contracts leaving small business owners without work.
“We’re tired of outside companies coming in, hiring whoever they want and walking off our reserve with millions of dollars where we can keep the money on our reserve, we can hire our own. We’re just as qualified as anybody else,” Day Chief said, adding that Blood Tribe workers have over 30 years of experience.
Contractor Chester Wells was one of many who parked his equipment in protest.
“It probably runs three months out of the year,” he said while pointing out his tractor.
Wells said members want to see more transparency and accountability from their leadership when decided who gets work.
“We’ve got the equipment to do it we got all the resources here,” he said.
Eugene Fox is a Blood Tribe trucker and farmer. He said this doesn’t only affect small business owners, but the families of its employees and the future of the community.
“So that we have a future for our kids. They want to do what we’re doing and they’re very talented,” Fox said.
“They want to farm, they want to ranch, run heavy equipment they want to run their own gravel trucks. But when the jobs are gone what do we do? Go to welfare? Sit on the streets? It shouldn’t be happening there’s lots of money here going out the door.”
APTN News hasn’t been able to reach Blood Tribe chief and council. Talbera Technologies said they are not commenting at this time.
Day Chief says the group will be submitting a petition to Blood Tribe Leadership.
“We want some accountability and some transparency mainly from our directors and managers as to why this company has had so much control.”